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Flyers Recognize Organ Donor Awareness Month

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers


In recognition of April as Organ Donor Awareness Month, the Philadelphia Flyers and Head Coach Ken Hitchcock are teaming up with the National Kidney Foundation of the Delaware Valley for "Flyers Casual Day" campaign beginning Tuesday, April 11, 2006 at Flyers-Penguins game at 7 p.m. at Wachovia Center. That same evening the team will honor Ben March, of West Chester, PA as a "Flyers Community Teammate." The "Flyers Community Teammate" program, sponsored by Clear Channel, was developed to recognize an individual or group for their positive contributions to the local community.

March, a dedicated volunteer of the National Kidney Foundation of the Delaware Valley, made it his mission to enforce the issue of organ donation in the community. The idea to shed light about the subject, most notably to school children, came into fruition by the untimely death of his 2-year-old son, Matthew. In 1996, March was told that the organs his son needed to survive were not available and that nothing more could be done. This incident coupled with the memory of their son prompted March and his wife, Barbara, to dedicate their time and efforts to inform others about the benefits of organ donation.

March makes it his duty to preach to both children and adults about how important organ donation is to both the donor and the patient. He urges people to think about how one day someone might be on either side of an organ transplant and the importance of "sharing your life, sharing your decision", which is not only the National Organ Donation Coalition's motto, but March's as well. His informative lectures, along with the help of his wife spreading the word at the local church, advises the community about the difference between coma and brain dead, the emotional ups and downs of organ donation, and the overall importance of being a donor.

Flyers Head Coach Ken Hitchcock will serve as honorary chairman for the National Kidney Foundation's "Flyers Casual Day." Businesses, organizations and schools are invited to participate in "Flyers Casual Day" by coming to work or school in their favorite Flyers jersey, cap, shirt or other creative Flyers garb to support the initiative. Organizations can pick any day to celebrate their own "Flyers Casual Day." By making a donation, each participant will receive a commemorative button that will explain the absence of the usual dress, suit or uniform to customers or clients. For more information on "Flyers Casual Day," visit the National Kidney Foundation of Delaware Valley's website at www.nkfdv.org or their table in the Broad Street Atrium on the main concourse during the Flyers-Penguins game.

During the game, Flyers Ambassador of Hockey Bob Kelly will present a Flyers jersey to March.
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